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US privacy efforts are diminishing online advertising



US privacy efforts are diminishing online advertising


While advertisers often portray privacy group concerns as exaggerated and feel restricted in their marketing activities, privacy efforts seem to be leaving their mark. A report by the American Ponemon Institute at least shows that the much-criticized “behavioral advertising”, ie tailor-made advertising based on surfing behavior, has been reduced by 75 percent through data protection efforts.

“Privacy concerns are definitely leaving their mark on the economy,” admitted Larry Poneman, chairman of the security and privacy research group, to the New York Times. The markets would develop cautiously because the legal situation was not precisely regulated. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission and the US Congress would increasingly tighten the requirements regarding online data collection.

According to the study, the advertising industry is increasingly interested in addressing consumers’ privacy concerns themselves. “If the concerns can be allayed, then the money will go into bespoke online advertising,” believes Michael S. Zaneis, vice president of public policy at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. This means a boost for the entire industry. Serious self-regulation is being pushed in the industry. According to the New York Times, advertisers were trying to better educate the public as well as appropriate technologies that should bring consumers more transparency. From summer on, behavioral ads will be marked with their own icon.

“In Germany, advertising must take place within the framework of the law in order to be able to act without contradictions. The legally granted right of action of directly affected competitors as well as organizations of the competition and consumer protection are sufficient correctives against abuse ”, says Volker Nickel, spokesman for the Central Association of the German Advertising Industry (ZAW). Confrontations between advertisers and privacy advocates are rare in this country, but they do happen. “This happens occasionally with companies that believe they can outsmart consumers and with data protection ideologues who believe they have to put people under an armored bell on the Internet,” emphasizes Nickel. The fact that data protection is hindering online advertising in its development has not yet been the case in Germany. pte

www.ponemon.org,
www.zaw.de